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Principles of Strategy?
Historically Amateurish Strategic War
(original source written by Colonel William K. Naylor)
552 pages; 20 chapters
Principles of Strategy? is an e-book which offers the reader some
surprising lessons regarding the art of war in 2012. The bulk of
Principles of Strategy? is devoted to an obscure, but typical, US
Army book on strategy from 1919. Although the author had not
only the entire scope of military history to draw from, he also had the
example of the modern war of attrition known as the Great War or
World War I. In spite of such history being available for study, the
amateurish author of the source material in Principles of
Strategy? drew all the wrong conclusions and, typically bereft of
clear information on the German and Russian armies use of
Operational Art, still recognized only Strategy and Tactics. The
antiquated way of thinking outlined in Principles of Strategy?
remains a strong influence on the US Army, which does not
understand Operational Art even in 2012.
"Germany and the Soviet Union were the first, and only, nations in the twentieth century to fully understand Operational
Art and all of its ramifications. That understanding of Operational art stemmed from a clear grasp of strategic
imperatives as first enunciated by Napoleon Bonaparte in the early 19th Century. "Soviet military strategy holds that war
consists of a complex system of interdependent, large-scale, simultaneous and successive strategic operations. Each
such operation is intended to achieve one of the politico-military (i.e. strategic) objectives of the war. Of necessity, they
must involve the utter defeat of key enemy strategic groupings. The execution of these intermediate missions, en route
to the achievement of the overall aim of the war, is the sphere of Operational Art..." The Red Army began to develop
Operational Art expertise during the Russian Civil War (1918-1920) because it had soon realized that the maneuver of
multiple armies was too complex to lend itself to tactical methods. The communists also realized that an intermediate
level of command and maneuver was needed between strategy and tactics.
The Red Army created Operational Art to guide military functioning in the domain of armies and army groups striving to
obtain strategic goals. The Soviet tactical sphere of consideration was limited to the battles conducted by formations
from corps (several divisions) down to battalions. They utilized Operational Art to tie all tactical action together into a
coherent battlefield gestalt.
Refined military thinking was germinated by Soviet savants like M.N. Tukhachevskiy and S.S. Kamenev who realized
that: “...Merely to oppose force by force will usually lead to stalemate, or at best attrition. The art of strategy accordingly
consists of employing strength against weakness or, to speak with ancient Chinese military writer Sun Tzu, it consists of
throwing rocks at eggs...”
Tukhachevskiy and Kamenev vanguarded their military intellectualism with objections to the bourgeoisie idea of one
climatic battle. According to Kaminev: one climatic battle postulated "...(that)...the fate of the campaign will be decided
in the very last battle...Interim defeats...(will not necessarily count)...In the warfare of modern large armies, defeat of the
enemy results from the sum of...victories on all front, successfully completed one after another...the uninterrupted
conduct of operations is the main condition for victory..."
Tukhachevskiy emphasized successive operations too. He proclaimed that: "...Modern operations involve the
concentration of forces necessary to strike a blow, and the infliction of continual and uninterrupted blows...throughout
an extremely deep area...Battle in a modern operation stretches out into a series of battles not only along the front but
also in depth..." A campaign, or series of battles, exemplifies Operational Art."
Excerpt from Principles of Strategy?
other books about Combat Military Leadership
For the past 111 years the US Army has remained an eighteenth century army, although it is armed with a plethora of high
tech weaponry. Yet that high tech weaponry, deployed by amateurish generals oblivious of the reality of Operational Art,
has proven inadequate to even defeat irregular forces. Their high tech toys are used mainly as tools of a most exaggerated
micro-management. The last three chapters of Principles of Strategy?, written by Breaker McCoy, introduces the reader to
the reality of modern war employing strategy, operational art and tactics, first developed by Napoleon Bonaparte.
Principles of Strategy? is also a military history document replete with many historical examples and the conclusions drawn
from the Principles of Strategy. Yet Principles of Strategy? offers yet more evidence of the mental decay and cognitive rot
that now dominates US armed forces leaders who have never understood the true nature of warfighting and have thus
remained as amateurish in 2012, as they were in 1776. When you finish reading Principles of Strategy?, you will have a
good knowledge of strategy and understand its relationship to operational art and tactics.